Checklist for signing a contract

Employment agreement

When you receive your first job offer there are some things to think of before you start working.

1. Make sure you have a contract

A verbal job offer is legally binding but it is hard to prove what has been promised without written proof. It is, therefore important to get a written contract as soon as possible.

You are by law entitled to a written contract by the latest one month after you’ve started your employment.

The law that regulates this, is called LAS – Lagen om Anställningsskydd – and can be translated to Employment Protection Act.

You should never accept a job offer before establishing your salary and what other conditions (like working hours, insurance, vacation, etc.) apply.

2. Find out if your workplace has kollektivavtal

An existing collective agreement – kollektivavtal means that basic matters like salaries, overtime, insurances, travel time compensation and parental leave etc. are regulated.

You are covered by the workplace kollektivavtal even if you are not a member of the union. You can also contact the local union unit (usually called Klubben) and ask them to check your contract and ensure that everything is correct before signing.

If there is no kollektivavtal at your workplace there are no basic regulations. It is up to you and your employer to negotiate and agree on terms like salary, overtime, vacation, insurance, travel compensation and parental leave etc.

Doing so can be challenging, due to the complexity of the Swedish labour legislation. It is also important to remember that Sweden has no minimal wage. Wages are regulated by kollektivavtalet and a lack of kollektivavtal at your workplace means that there is no lower limit for your salary. So, it is always safer to work at a place with kollektivavtal.

However, a lack of a kollektivavtal does not mean that your employer is evil and will exploit you. It just means that you need to inform yourself and ensure that basic matters are correctly regulated in your contract.

3. Basic information that should be in your contract

Not all contracts look the same but some basic information should always be there, like:

  • Your name and personnummer
  • The name of the workplace
  • When you start/started your employment
  • Your tasks and duties
  • Your salary and holiday pay
  • Your notice time (the time from the day you find out that you will have to stop working until the date on which work ends)

What is the difference between anställningsavtal and anställningsbevis? And what does arbetsgivarintyg actually mean?

An Anställningsavtal is equivalent to an Anställningsbevis and these two simply means “a written employment contract”. An Anställningsavtal or Anställningsbevis states what sort of employment you have and how much you are supposed to work.

An Arbetsgivarintyg – an employer’s certificate, on the other hand, states have much you’ve actually worked and can be useful when searching for a new position.

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